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Here are all the important voting dates you need to know

The term "vote early" has been sung repeatedly this election season. But when exactly is that? Here's all the dates you need to know.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The term “vote early” has been sung repeatedly this election season, but what does that mean? 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re registered to vote in California, you will receive a ballot in the mail. ABC10 compiled a list of all the dates you need to know, starting this October and leading all the way through December.

2020 Election: All about how to vote

Here’s all the dates you need to know:

Monday, Oct. 5: Ballots mailed/drop boxes open.

  • Monday, Oct. 5, is the day ballots will begin to be mailed out to registered voters.
  • If you’d rather pick up your ballot, you can head to your elections office and pick up your ballot starting Monday, Oct. 5.
  • This is also the day that 58 ballot drop box locations will open across Sacramento County where you can drop off your completed ballot. These locations include all Raley’s and Bel Air stores, as well as Sacramento County Public Libraries. Click here for a full list of ballot drop box locations.

Friday, Oct. 16: No ballot? Reach out.

  • If you are registered and haven’t received your ballot in the mail by Oct. 16, election officials recommend you reach out to your local elections office to ensure everything is alright with your registration. 

Monday, Oct. 19:  Voter registration deadline (by mail)

Thursday, Oct. 22: Recommended date to get your ballot back in the mail

  • Election officials are recommending you have your completed ballot in the mail by Thursday, Oct. 22, in order for it to be included in election night results. However, you do have until Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) to get it postmarked in the mail for it to be counted, but it will probably take longer for election officials to include votes if they come in later. If you want to keep tabs on your ballot in the mail, you can sign up for Ballottrax here.

Saturday, Oct. 24: In-person early voting begins in Sacramento County

Saturday, Oct. 31: In-person early voting begins in central valley

Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election day

Friday, Nov. 20: Cut off date for postmarked ballots

  • Because everyone has the opportunity to vote-by-mail, election officials will continue to accept ballots that were postmarked by or before election day up until Friday, Nov. 20.

Tuesday, Dec. 1: Election results certified

Watch More:

How to register to vote for the 2020 presidential election